Sept. 17 deadline set for PUC decision on KE sale

The Public Utilities Commission has set a deadline of Sept. 17 to make a decision on approving or denying the sale of Kauai Electric to the Kaua’i Island Utility Co-op.

The PUC issued a preliminary report on the proposed sale earlier this summer. The report showed that the state board was looking favorably towards the sale.

The KIUC is offering to pay $215 million to Citizens Communications of Stamford, Conn. for the utility. The PUC rejected a $270 million deal last year, while a County of Kaua’i-hired appraiser is putting a $190 million value on the utility.

Rates are expected to remain the same if KIUC takes over, according to spokespersons for the group, and electric users are promised a $45 per customer rebate from Citizens, if the sale goes through.

Of the three parties allowed to intervene in the sale during the current round of negotiations on the sale, the County of Kaua’i is opposing the sale. The Navy and the state’s consumer advocate have agreed to accept the sale.

The County Council is still debating whether to support the administration of Mayor Maryanne Kusaka in saying the sale price is too high. A special council meeting is scheduled for Thursday on the issue.

Final position statements are to be turned into to the PUC by the intervenors on Sept. 10.

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